Difference from average wind speed across the Northern Hemisphere for January-February 2014. Blues indicate areas with wind speeds that were higher than the 1981-2010 average; browns indicate winds were lower than average.
Credit: Dan Pisut, NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab
The winter storms that lashed England with record floods in February were among an unusually high number of hurricane-force storms in the North Atlantic this winter, according to NOAA's Ocean Prediction Center.
Between October 2013 and March 2014, 43 hurricane-force storms blasted the North Atlantic, the Ocean Predication Center said today in a statement. The storm totals for 2012-2013 were slightly lower, with 41 hurricane-force events between October and April. However, only 22 of those storms rapidly intensified, a process called bombogenesis. In 2013-2014, 30 storms blew up into hurricane-force strength, with dangerous winds, rain and snow. Another difference: More of this year's storms tracked further to the south than in 2012-2013, aiming for Britain instead of Greenland. The most intense system hit on Dec. 24, 2013, northwest of the British Isles.
Read more: Is Climate Change to Blame for UK's Floods?